The World in a Nutshell

The World in a Nutshell

The prompt today asks us to recommend one book that explains what humans are all about.  I would recommend The Story of Civilization, by  Will and Ariel Durant. It is an eleven-volume set of books (published between 1935 and 1975) covering Western history.  Unfortunately, they died before they could complete the series, but the history of future civilizations was in fact forecast in quotes from various volumes:

–(From Volume 1, The Near East: “For barbarism is always around civilization, amid it and beneath it, ready to engulf it by arms, or mass migration, or unchecked fertility. Barbarism is like the jungle; it never admits its defeat; it waits patiently for centuries to recover the territory it has lost.” (page 265)

–(From Volume 2, The Life of Greece: ”We have tried to show that the essential cause of the Roman conquest of Greece was the disintegration of Greek civilization from within. No great nation is ever conquered until it has destroyed itself.” (page 659)

–(From Volume 3. Caesar and Christ: ”If Rome had not engulfed so many men of alien blood in so brief a time, if she had passed all these newcomers through her schools instead of her slums, if she had treated them as men with a hundred potential excellences, if she had occasionally closed her gates to let assimilation catch up with infiltration, she might have gained new racial and literary vitality from the infusion, and might have remained a Roman Rome, the voice and citadel of the West.” (p. 366)

(Facts and quotes gleaned from Wikipedia, which gives a more comprehensive listing of volumes, themes and quotes.)

The Prompt: The friendly, English-speaking extraterrestrial you run into outside your house is asking you to recommend the one book, movie, or song that explains what humans are all about. What do you pick?https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/worldly-encounters/

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About lifelessons

My blog, which started out to be about overcoming grief, quickly grew into a blog about celebrating life. I post daily: poems, photographs, essays or stories. I've lived in countries all around the globe but have finally come to rest in Mexico, where I've lived since 2001. My books may be found on Amazon in Kindle and print format, my art in local Ajijic galleries. Hope to see you at my blog.

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